The Old Dry Yard (In private collection)

Back in the day, prunes were dried on trays laid out in an open field. They required constant attention. If it rained, the trays needed to be stacked and covered. If it was sunny, the prunes needed to be turned so they didn’t stick. This painting is from a photo of the Taeuffer family ranch dry yard, circa 1900-1910. The only person not engaged in stoop labor is my great grandfather, Ernest Taeuffer, who came to the U.S. from Alsace in the early 1870s. By the time of this image, he would have been in his 50s or maybe 60.

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